Skip to main content

Sigma-Aldrich, Kings College London Ink Deal on miRNA Test

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sigma Life Science today announced a licensing deal with King's College London for the development and commercialization of technology to identify and validate miRNA targets in research and clinical diagnostics.

The technology was developed at the division of cancer studies at King's College. No further details about the technology or terms of the deal were disclosed.

miRNAs are critical regulators of gene expression in eukaryotic cells, and aberrant expression in miRNAs has been implicated in numerous disease states, making them important targets in clinical research in oncology, wound healing, and infectious disease, according to Sigma Life Science, the biological products and services research business of Sigma-Aldrich. However, the specific targets of most miRNAs are unknown, and current methods of identifying miRNA targets are "laborious and inefficient" relying on computer algorithms and validation by in vitro assays, the company added.

In a statement, Joop Gaken, lead researcher on the project at King's College, said that the method developed by him and his colleagues "is expected to enable the straightforward identification of target genes that are strongly regulated by a given miRNA, helping to elucidate important gene regulation events in vivo."

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.